Mercury Marine introduced Joystick Piloting for Outboards to consumers Feb. 14 at the Miami International Boat Show.
Joystick Piloting takes the stress out of docking, maneuvering in tight spaces and operating in less-than-ideal environments by providing boaters 360-degree movement at their fingertips. The intuitive design of the joystick lets anyone – from experienced captains to novice boaters – maneuver large boats with ease and confidence.
The system allows an operator to effortlessly move a multi-engine outboard-powered boat in any direction – including sideways, diagonally or spinning on its own axis – with a simple push or twist of a joystick. The operator controls the throttle, shifting and steering with one hand, and the joystick works in conjunction with the independently steered engines to move the boat in the desired direction.
No other outboard joystick control system offers the advanced features of Mercury’s Joystick Piloting for Outboards, which includes Skyhook virtual anchor, VesselView engine information display, and an integrated autopilot system.
Skyhook pinpoints the boat’s position using a GPS satellite antenna; then the engines and drives move independently to maintain the position and heading. It’s ideal for holding a boat over a fishing spot, waiting for a drawbridge to open or maintaining position while waiting to refuel at a marina.
Auto Heading and Waypoint Sequencing make navigating to a final destination simple and efficient. A built-in digital compass on Auto Heading allows the captain to maintain course and make precise corrections with the touch of a finger. One-degree heading adjustments can be made with a tap on the joystick; 10-degree adjustments can be accomplished using the control panel. Trips with multiple stops between the starting point and final destination are a breeze with Waypoint Sequencing, which allows the operator to plot the boat’s course using multiple points.
Captains will appreciate the redesigned VesselView information display, which provides information regarding all boat systems in a single location. VesselView provides up-to-date information for more than 30 engine parameters, including fuel level and range, oil temperature and pressure, water depth and more.
Joystick Piloting for Outboards was designed and developed for the Mercury Verado outboard, renowned for its smooth and incredibly quiet ride. The joystick system can be installed on boats powered by two to four Verado (250hp or 300hp) engines.